Welcome to our latest chat with the folks behind the scenes that help make the magic happen here at Loot Crate!
Creating awesome stuff is something that Loot Crate has done, and done well, for a little over five years now – whether it’s creating incredible experiences with the kickass crates we send all over the world every month, the memorable experiences we create with our Looter Community each and every day, or the awesome video content we create on our YouTube and Twitch channels. And then there are a select few that have been with the company long enough that they’ve been involved in all of those things, and more – and one of those folks is none other than Chris Darbro! Chris was employee #4 at Loot Crate and celebrated his fifth anniversary with the company in November of last year. In the time that he’s been here, he’s been an integral part of the growth of this company, and now he’s an invaluable member of the Production Team. I had a chance to sit down and talk about his experiences with Loot Crate – give it a look!
Thanks for taking time to chat with me, Chris! Before we get started, why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do here at Loot Crate?
Thanks, Josh! I am our Technical Director / Live Content Producer here at Loot Crate, which means I spend a lot of time preparing, creating, and producing our live content like Looter News LIVE!, Twitch Tuesdays, and our specialty live streams, in addition to things like managing the massive amounts of data and footage our Production team creates, trying to make sure we’re staying on top of new production and broadcasting technologies and strategies where possible, and much more!
What were you doing before you joined the company?
Prior to Loot Crate I worked heavily in the tech side of the Television Industry, as the Director of Technology for Jimmy Kimmel Live, and in tech on shows like Lost, Scrubs, and too many others to count, in addition to private tech consulting for high profile people in the tv and film industry.
You are one of the OG Loot Crate veterans, being here over five years – what was it that really excited you about joining up with Loot Crate from the very beginning?
Admittedly, at first I was skeptical. As a lifelong Geek and Gamer myself, I needed to know that Loot Crate genuinely was a company by fans, for fans, that could go the distance and not be forgotten 3 months later. So I decided to start out as one of our very first subscribers. I had to experience Loot Crate the way a customer, or as we like to call them, a ‘Looter’, would. After keeping a close eye on the first 2 crates to see how they turned out, I contacted one of the co-founders who I’d known through the previous tech stuff, and talked him into letting me come in and help pack some of the early crates. It was a great way to see the internal, less customer-facing side of the Loot Crate process. After that, I knew it was something I could be passionate about and put all of myself in to, and boy did I! The first 2-3 years of Loot Crate we all put in many long, long, days, and gave up nights and weekends to make something we felt we could be proud of for our audience!
When working at a company like Loot Crate, it’s not unusual for the employees to be fans just as much as our Looters are – So what kinds of things do you geek out on the most?
Woof, that’s quite a list. I’ve always loved anything relating to the Legend of Zelda series, (Link to the Past will always by my #1 Zelda game), I nerd out over the Marvel Cinematic and DC TV Universes, anything related to Space and Astronomy, The Matrix franchise, I’m a musician, and prior to Loot Crate also spent a LOT of time in the Call of Duty world, playing GameBattles on MLG and competing in other money matches online. Those are a few, but if I went into all the other things I geek out about we’d be here all day.
You’ve had quite a few hats to wear in your time at Loot Crate, but have settled in now as Technical Director for the Production Team – what other roles have you held while working at Loot Crate over the years?
So many hats! In the earlier days of Loot Crate, the few of us there were had a lot to do and didn’t always have enough hands to accomplish it all, so we all performed many roles to help each other and Loot Crate as a whole out to make things work, like a big family. I managed and setup the technologies and services that kept us running internally, as our IT Manager, in addition to running our events and booths at conventions as our Events Manager, to many other things like getting us forklifts and training and storage racks for our first warehouse spaces, or managing our facilities to make sure we had security systems, or water service, even down to fixing the occasional plumbing or electrical issues, basically being our very own Loot Crate swiss army knife of sorts.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve been a part of as a member of the Production Team?
That’s a tough one! There has been some really great ones to be honest. I loved the interview we did with Stan Lee because I got to accomplish a lifelong goal of meeting him, or working with Kevin Smith on our ‘Wake and Bake’ cooking series, or getting to launch one of our crates into near-space for our ‘Loot Craft 2 – Launch’ video!
I know that you’re big into Twitch and streaming in general, not only as someone who has created content but as someone who enjoys watching it – what is it about Twitch that could be such a useful tool for Loot Crate?
It’s a couple of things really, one of them being that gamers are a big part of our Loot Crate and Loot Gaming audiences. Bringing parts of Loot Crate, and who we are and what we do, to the largest gaming broadcast platform out there has always been a bit of a no-brainer to me. But another reason is it’s a great way for us to interact with fans in a live environment. There are a lot of people out there who just love Loot Crate for being geeks and gamers who help curate and bring them cool stuff or introduce them to cool franchises they may not even be familiar with. Letting them be able to just hop in a chat with us and talk to real employees about the stuff they get excited about or have questions about is really amazing.
So, among many other things; you handle all the live content, all the live streams for internal meetings, and you are the man behind the curtain for Loot Crate’s “Twitch Tuesdays”, plus you produce Looter News Live every Friday – how important is it to you to have those kinds of live interactions with Looters every week?
Incredibly important! I love seeing the fans who are repeat viewers who devote time to coming back every week to participate and watch us, and seeing how cool our fans are to each other in chat, always helping each other out and having fun together. I love letting our fans know we’re more than just a company that curates awesome Loot, that we are also devoted to creating an experience for them that goes beyond the crates themselves.
Is there any kind of content, live or otherwise, that you’d love to see Loot Crate get involved in?
I look forward to us participating in charity live streams for great causes in the future. I’m always really jazzed when we can give back like that.
And now for my go-to final question for each of my Behind the Crate interviews: If you could create your very own Loot Crate, what would it be?
This is going to sound cheesy, but, honestly? I’ve already helped create that crate. The first 2 years of Loot Crate, being able to help curate products in the crate, find us better boxes / packaging than what we started with, pack those crates with my own two hands with stuff that I knew that our fans would enjoy as much as we did, and be able to see their reactions on social media or in YouTube unboxing videos….. I got to help make that crate, and always have been very proud of that.
Any other final thoughts? Where can people find you online?
Well, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t plug our channels for our video content, like our Twitch page at twitch.tv/lootcrate and our YouTube & Facebook pages at YouTube.com/lootcrate and facebook.com/lootcrate respectively! (Go give us a follow!) As far as finding me, my handle is ‘RockNRollGeek’ on pretty much everything, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc, feel free to give me a follow there if you’d like!
Thanks for taking the time to hang out with me today, Chris!